The summer six week holiday of 2016 started and finished with loss. Since then I’ve been living with bereavement. Maybe a better way of saying that is to say I AM A BEREAVEMENT SURVIVOR. Probably always will be a Bereavement survivor. I’ve been very careful to use the word bereavement. Bereavement is that awful thing that we all must go through in life. It can’t be badged up in any fancy packaging and made it to be something nice. It is just awful, will always be awful. It means death, loss and the end.
Over those 4 years I have come to realise that GRIEF is something different. It’s not bereavement. Grief has an important extra component. Grief has one important word associated with it.
Grief and grieving is another word for love and loving. So grief is completely different to bereavement. Ok it’s intrinsically linked with bereavement and yes in a perfect world, it just doesn’t happen. But sadly it does and often far too early. However here is the key – Grief means Love and that is a beautiful thing. Bereavement is something you try to survive and live with. Grief is love, so is something you will always treasure. Yes it can be so very painful but that pain just reflects the depth of your love. That love will always be there. It will strengthen me. If and when I move onto loving someone else, it will make me much more appreciative of that new love.
So yes I am a bereavement survivor but more importantly I am a better person because of my grief.